A fire alarm forced the evacuation of the Fayette County Democratic Party's awards dinner Tuesday night, but it didn't stop gubernatorial candidate Jack Conway from finding the stump.
After attorney general candidate Andy Beshear's speech was interrupted by the alarm at the Hyatt Regency, Beshear gathered the displaced Democrats around a set of concrete stairs in the parking lot across from Rupp Arena.
Conway, the current attorney general, climbed atop the stairs and declared: "We're going to win this race.
"It looks good. We're up in the polls. We got some polling back that shows we've got a solid lead."
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During his abbreviated remarks with fire trucks nearby, Conway did not mention any of the four Republican candidates who are locked in a battle to face him in the fall campaign, but he did ask for the crowd's help in pushing back the inevitable attacks headed his way down the road.
"There's going to be a lot of dark, special interest money coming here to try and tell the people of Kentucky that I'm something I'm not," Conway said. "I'm a Kentucky-first Democrat. I put people over politics. I have the record to win this race, and I'm going to win this race with your help."
Conway quickly left after his remarks, and the all-clear was given shortly after.
The earlier speakers seemed to reinforce the notion that the Kentucky Democratic Party is united in its focus on the governor's race.
A number of down-ballot candidates praised Conway and his running mate, state Rep. Sannie Overly, and spoke of the importance of preserving the Governor's Mansion for Democrats.
But Secretary of State Alison Lundergan, who ran for the U.S. Senate last year, appeared to be somewhat off message.
While saying she didn't want to look back, the majority of her remarks were about her losing race. Grimes compared herself to the Kentucky Wildcats, who lost in this year's Final Four.
"It seems that God had a different plan not just for me, but for the Kentucky Wildcats this year, on what we would be doing," Grimes said.
She seemed eager to blame the national political environment and U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's superior fundraising apparatus for her 15-point loss to McConnell in November.
"It wasn't just Kentucky," Grimes said. "Pundits might want to write it that way, but it was the entire map from North Carolina, to Arkansas, to Iowa, to Colorado, down to Louisiana and Alaska."
Grimes, who was widely ridiculed for her refusal to say whether she voted for President Barack Obama during last year's race, seemed clear in her endorsement in next year's presidential race, twice mentioning "President Hillary Rodham Clinton."
Clinton, who campaigned for Grimes during last year's Senate race, made her presidential run official this week.